January 31, 2012

Otavalo Adventures: Friday

Not from Friday, but it's Greg and goats.
Awesome regardless!
You may remember, we've already been to Otavalo once in the fall. We wanted to come back because the area looked cool and we had only seen the market (which did not fascinate us as there are a million stalls selling mostly the same thing). I had bigger plans for us for the weekend, but since we both forgot the bank card at home, we were traveling on a limited budget. 

I'd still like to hike around the beautiful crater lake, but we can go back another time. It's only 2 hours from Quito. In any case, I've already been hinting to Greg that I'd like to go back this summer for a weaving or natural dyeing class at Tahuatinsuyo.

After the weaving expedition on Friday, I went to Cotacachi, which is a small leather-goods town. I grabbed some lunch at a place that was all expats - the locals probably couldn't afford it even though it was below average for a lunch in the US. Then, shoe shopping! I had hoped to find some mid-calf boots, but the only ones I found were not available in my size. I think the saleswoman thought I had massive feet, but given that I was towering over her, I don't think she should have been that surprised when I told her my shoe size!

Cotocachi main square - I still love seeing palm trees!
Disappointed, I headed for the bus stop. I was the only non-Indigenous person waiting and the only one without some handicraft to work on. Never before have I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb here. Everyone's hands were busy with embroidery, crocheting baby hats, making friendship bracelets with intricate designs, and separating threads. All of the goods they made were most likely to be sold at the market the next morning. 

A lot of what is in the market is machine or factory made, but when I happened upon people actually making stuff that, it made me feel better about the market. More about that in the next post - including a video or two and more pictures, I promise!
Kids riding a horse along the train tracks in Otavalo -
we liked how the toothless one was hamming it up!

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